Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Gene & Jude’s | Chicago Red Hots (Hot Dogs) At Their Best
Review by: Michael Stern
Street Food Accommodations
Gene & Jude’s, just a few minutes the other side of O’Hare Airport, is hugely popular, but it is relatively small and extremely modest. There are no tables or chairs at all; as is Chicago custom, the eatery offers a chest-high counter to which you may bring your red hots, unwrap them, and eat standing up. When you’re finished, use the wax paper in which the hot dogs were served to gather up any scraps and heave them in one of the large garbage cans provided in the corners of the room. We find this arrangement comfortable and eminently practical for eating extremely messy food. However, many customers choose to dine in their cars in the parking lot.
A True Chicago Red Hot
You get a hot dog or a double dog. Or, as most Chicagoans know them, red hots. The natural-casing, all-beef Vienna brand franks are slim and snappy. Servers insert them into soft buns. They dress them with mustard, onions, piccalilli, or sport peppers as you request. Some hot dog historians consider this the “original” Chicago style dog, pre-dating the more baroque garnishes of pickle spear, tomato slices, and celery salt. In fact, Gene & Jude’s dates back to 1946.
The Crowning Touch: French Fries
This is without a doubt a definitive signature street food of Chicago. These red hots are great dogs by any measure. But wait, there’s more! Regardless of whatever toppings you desire, you also get a great fistful of French fries. No afterthought, these fries rank among Chicago’s finest. Fresh? Forget about it! As you wait for your hot dog to be prepared, you can watch the counter folks peel and cut whole potatoes, then fry them, drain them, and pile them onto waiting dogs. Fries spend a good long time in the bubbling oil, emerging dark brown with some pieces crunchy through-and-through, others thick and potato-creamy inside.
Gene & Jude’s motto: “No Seats. No Ketchup. No Pretense. No Nonsense.”
Directions & Hours
- Monday: 10:30 AM – 9:00 PM
- Tuesday: 10:30 AM – 9:30 PM
- Wednesday: 10:30 AM – 9:30 PM
- Thursday: 10:30 AM – 9:30 PM
- Friday: 10:30 AM – 2:00 AM
- Saturday: 10:30 AM – 2:00 AM
- Sunday: 10:30 AM – 9:00 PM
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|